Issue #55, The Memoir Issue

Spring 2015

Our spring edition, "The Memoir Issue," is big news: a special double issue with twice as many stories as usual, from places as far-ranging as Japan, Australia, the Marshall Islands, the Appalachian Trail, and Vermont.

This issue is also big in scope, illustrating thorny issues such as the power (and fallibility) of memory; the challenges of telling other people’s stories accurately; and the art of self-analysis and reflection.

Plus, CNF #55 features columns on how social media might be changing human memory; readers’ duty to wield belief responsibly; accepting the narcissist within; tiny truths; and more.

The end result is a hulk of an issue that showcases and celebrates the rich possibilities of the form. You don’t want to miss this one.

This issue is currently sold out.
A digital edition is available here.


Table of Contents

From the Editor Lee Gutkind ... read more
The Meek Shall Inherit the Memoir Harrison Scott Key ... read more
Of Memoir & Memory Robert Atwan ... read more
The Coronation of Bobby Mimi Schwartz
Do No Harm Kelly Fig Smith
Black is the Body Emily Bernard
A Strand of Pearls and a Fountain Pen D.T. Nguyen
My Father's Secrets Ron Tanner
Cast a Net Gillian Smith
Territorial Imperative in Planaria Marilyn Moriarty
Tangle of Lines Brenna Fitzgerald
Girl on Fire Gina Warren
The Grief Scale Suzanne Roberts
Believe It Sarah Smarsh
Infallible Memoir: The New Past, According to Social Media Daphne Strassmann ... read more
Age, Formative Rolf Potts


Robert Atwan

Robert Atwan is the founder and series editor of “The Best American Essays.” He also publishes America Now: Short Readings from... read more

Emily Bernard

Emily Bernard’s essays have been reprinted in The Best American Essays, Best African American Essays, and The Best Creative... read more

Brenna Fitzgerald

Brenna Fitzgerald is a writer based in Seattle. She was born in Wisconsin; started kindergarten in Prague; grew up in New Orleans,... read more

Harrison Scott Key

Harrison Scott Key is the author of The World’s Largest Man (HarperCollins), which is a memoir somewhere between A River Runs through... read more

Marilyn Moriarty

Marilyn Moriarty won the 2014 Faulkner Society’s Gold Medal for Best Essay. Her writing has been published in the Antioch Review, the... read more

D.T. Nguyen

D.T. Nguyen immigrated to the United States as a child in 1975, after the fall of Vietnam. She is completing a collection of nonfiction... read more

Rolf Potts

Rolf Potts is the author of three books: Marco Polo Didn't Go There, Vagabonding, and Souvenir. His essays and reportage have... read more

Suzanne Roberts

Suzanne Roberts is the author of the memoir Almost Somewhere (Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award), as well as four collections of... read more

Scott Loring Sanders

Scott Loring Sanders lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. In 2014, he had a story featured in The Best American Mystery Stories,... read more

Mimi Schwartz

Mimi Schwartz’s books include Thoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed and Good Neighbors, Bad Times: Echoes of My Father’s German... read more

Sarah Smarsh

Sarah Smarsh has reported on class disparity for Harper's, Guernica, and the Guardian, and her essays on cultural boundaries have... read more

Gillian Smith

Gillian Smith is an Australian freelance editor and technical writer, living in the hills outside the city of Melbourne. She is an emerging... read more

Kelly Fig Smith

Kelly Fig Smith writes from her home in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Her essays have been published online at Literary Mama, the Christian Science... read more

Daphne Strassmann

Daphne Strassmann has written a memoir about finding safety, identity, culture, and language amid the alienation that comes with... read more

Ron Tanner

Ron Tanner is a professor of writing at Loyola University Maryland, where he directs the Marshall Islands Story Project. His novel, Missile... read more

Gina Warren

Gina Warren is a nonfiction writer living in Marin County, California. Her work has appeared in Junk and Mason’s Road, and won first... read more